Former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has criticised new manager Louis van Gaal for the constant flurry of injuries at Old Trafford this season.
United have already suffered over 40 injuries since Van Gaal took over, the latest of which came on Monday night when Chris Smalling suffered a muscle tear at Southampton.
Phelan hasn’t been shy in coming forwards when speaking about United since his acrimonious departure when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and the former No.2 to Ferguson thinks Van Gaal is to blame one way or the other for the amount of injuries decimating the United squad this season.
“They’ve brought in new people with a different way of doing things,” Phelan told the International Business Times.
“Tony understood the ins and outs of how to keep players fit.”
He added: “The intensity of training may be one thing — it may be too intense, or not intense enough — but obviously slight changes have been made with the present way of doing things.
“What’s happened is a continuation of the same players getting injured all the time, so you have to look to the reasons why. I think Manchester United changed their thoughts on the fitness regime, they looked at it a bit differently.”
Phelan, now a coach at Norwich, has become an unpopular figure among several corners of United’s support for some of his comments since leaving the club and more might find his comments ironic given the club have suffered constant issues surrounding fitness since long before Phelan left the club.
Some fans may also find his comments unfair given the amount of injuries picked up in freak accidents during games or on international duty. Daley Blind picked up his injury whilst playing for Holland whilst Luke Shaw rolled his ankle against Arsenal and Wayne Rooney collided with an advertising board against Hull City last week.